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Visit to Uruguay of Indian Parliamentary Goodwill Delegation led by Shri Pralhad Joshi, Minister of Parliamentary Affairs

Posted on: June 17, 2023 | Back | Print

At the invitation of President of House of Representatives (Lower House) of the Parliament of Oriental Republic of Uruguay, Shri Pralhad Joshi, Minister of Parliamentary Affairs, Coal & Mines led a 10-member Parliamentary Goodwill Delegation to Uruguay from 14-17 June 2023 with the objective of strengthening and deepening of bilateral relations between two democracies.

The multi-party delegation comprised nine Members of Parliament from both chambers; six from Lok Sabha including Shri Sanjay Seth, Smt. Gomati Sai, Shri Hemant Patil, Shri CN Annadurai, Dr Gurumoorthy Maddila and Ms Chandrani Murmu as well as Ms Indu Bala Goswami, Shri Dineshchandra Avavadiya and Shri Neeraj Dangi from Rajya Sabha. It also included Shri G Srinivas, Secretary, Ministry of Parliamentary Affairs. The delegation was received by Shri Dinesh Bhatia, Ambassador of India to Argentina and Uruguay on 14 June who briefed the delegation about the country and growing importance of its bilateral relations with India.

The last parliamentary delegation from India had visited Uruguay in 2012 led by the then Speaker, Lok Sabha. The visit took place on close heels of the Foreign Office Consultations between the two countries, held in New Delhi in March 2023.

The official part of the visit began on 15 June with the Minister, accompanied by delegation members, paying floral tributes to the bust of Father of the Nation Mahatma Gandhi in the capital city of Montevideo. In fact, a part of the iconic Rambla, the coastal road in the capital city, near the bust, is known after the name of Mahatma Gandhi.

The delegation was received by Mr Sebastian Andujar, President of House of Representatives on 15 June. Besides holding delegation level talks where Members of both houses of Uruguayan Parliament also joined, Minister Joshi and Mr Andujar launched India – Uruguay Parliamentary Friendship Group in Uruguayan Parliament. The discussions focused on deepening of bilateral relations, particularly through parliamentary diplomacy.

Minister Shri Joshi invited Mr Andujar to visit India with a parliamentary delegation which was accepted by the latter. It was agreed that a reciprocal visit of parliamentarians from Uruguay to India would take place before end of 2023, the dates of which would be finalized through diplomatic channels.

The Minister, accompanied by the delegation and Ambassador Bhatia also met the Vice President of Uruguay and President of the Senate (Upper House), Ms. Beatriz Argimon, the first ever woman to have been elected in that position. She was also the Acting President of the Republic as President Luis Lacalle Pou was travelling out of the country in this period. While welcoming the delegation, she recalled her fruitful and memorable visit to India a few years back. She emphasised on need to broaden the relations between two vibrant democracies.

In both the meetings, Minister Shri Joshi highlighted India’s rapid socio-economic development, particularly due to various policy initiatives taken by the government of Prime Minister Hon'ble Sh. Narendra Modiji.

The delegation participated in the International Day of Yoga celebrations hosted by Indian Cultural Association of Uruguay, an association of Indians residing in Uruguay. Besides a session on meditation guided by a local Uruguayan yoga teacher, the celebrations also witnessed a classical Odissi dance performance by a local artist from Uruguay. There is a widespread admiration in Uruguay for Indian culture, philosophy, spiritualism, yoga and meditation with thousands of followers of various Indian yoga and spiritual institutions.

The Minister and the delegation took the opportunity to interact with the Indian community and friends of India in Montevideo. There are over 800 Indians living in Uruguay.

Uruguay XXI, the agency responsible for promotion of exports, investments and country image under the Government of Uruguay, made a presentation to the entire delegation on 16 June with the objective of promoting bilateral trade, investment and economic ties. The delegation also visited the office of Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) in Uruguay, which completed 20 years of its operations in 2022. Today, TCS Uruguay is the largest private sector employer of manpower in the country.

On one hand, India and Uruguay celebrated 60 years of diplomatic relations in 2020 and on the other, the bilateral trade has seen robust growth in the last few years, recording over USD 350 million in 2022-23. Both democratic countries are committed to promote trade and investments.

Secretary, G. Srinivas termed the visit as hugely successful as it projected Indian diversity and rich culture besides the economic supremacy, in a distant yet friendly country. Ambassador Bhatia noted that the visit by the Goodwill Delegation, led at the level of Minister himself, was not a routine affair for Uruguay, let alone for Latin American region. He looked forward to more such exchanges to deepen the bilateral relations.

PIB Delhi

June 17, 2023